Artifical Intelligence, Machine Learning & KM!

Ross Smith, Microsoft & Pepper

I was very excited about the future after our morning Wed am keynotes here in DC at KMWorld .  Several weeks ago in Monterey, at the Internet Librarian conference, we had a look at Misty and Elsie, robots for use libraries and other places.  We talked about what AI might do and possible implications.  But here in DC we looked at what organizations ARE doing with AI.  Amazing.  Scott Parker from Sinequa talked about pure AI (pure fiction) and “pragmatic AI – a collection of AI technologies that are designed to deliver specific value. As the name suggests, pragmatic AI needs human help to learn and adapt itself to business challenges.”  Examples, “AI cuts IT problems at Fannie Mae by a third; finds experts; assists with regulatory compliance.” Consider the machine learning speed at Twitter that another speaker shared – current quarter Twitter removes 50% of abusive tweets only 40+ % last quarter and 38% the quarter before. I got so excited I inserted my opinion into my MC duties at KMWorld (oops) but since Kim Glover quoted me in her talk about future KM, I guess that’s ok!  I said something like, ‘I’m so excited about the future of knowledge sharing.  I know the technologies are not perfect but at the rate they are improving and becoming extremely valuable in the back end activities of KM, we will definitely be dealing with higher level activities in the near future.  Ido Namir, global head of KM for Deloitte, said, “Auto tagging and auto classification are game changing capabilities in the KM domain.  The number one barrier for knowledge curation and sharing was removed.” Wow, I can’t wait for next year’s KMWorld back here at the JW Marriott in Washington DC, November 16-19 – mark your calendars, think about what knowledge you can share, answer our call for speakers in January!  Thanks to all who were involved this year and make KMWorld 2019 such a success.

Ido Namir, Deloitte quote

Privacy: 3 Critical Tools

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Next week at Internet Librarian 2019, Gary Price (Infodocket), Susan Schramm ( and Lilian Pintos (Web Services, Vancouver Public Library) look at privacy and libraries. In the same way that libraries became the “go to” for people to learn and use the web, privacy issues are an incredible opportunity for libraries to strut their expertise.

Libraries should be Privacy R US — educating and advising people in keeping their data safe. Most libraries, quite rightly, are positioning themselves as champions of digital literacy. Yet people can’t be digitally literate if they don’t have the tools and know-how to protect their privacy – if they choose to do. People need to make informed decisions. Isn’t that what libraries are all about?

Who knows online tools? Gary Price. Gary has been hammering the privacy tool drum for 10 years. I have to admit, I didn’t pay attention. Well, Mr. Price, you got my attention. You got my attention when you showed me – in a bar, of course – that you knew exactly the sites I was on and had been on that day. I haven’t been on a ‘free wifi’ site ever since. I’m not alone. Pew Research just released their study that few of us are really digitally savvy. Sigh….

Here’s Part 1 of a 3-part podcast series with Gary to talk about privacy, the roles libraries can easily fill within their campus or community, and the tools with which we should be equipping students, patrons and faculty to make informed choices. In this episode Gary explains the difference between privacy and security, and 3 tools you can use right away to offer drivers’ ed level Privacy Ed.

What’s the status of your library’s privacy practice? Complete this 2-minute survey and I’ll publish the results.  
Does your library inform and equip people with tools to inform their privacy decisions?


Digital Transformation or Die!

Dying flowers & dying enterprises?

All organizations, yes every single one including libraries has to change and embrace digital transformation.  Our society has – just look at Amazon, AirBnB, Uber and most of other successful businesses.  If we want people’s attention (and support) we have to easy-to-use applications that engage our audiences online.

Consider the Forbes article suggesting that Amazon take over for libraries in US (which of course is no longer online because of the big backlash).  If that tweaked someone’s thoughts about visiting a library, would they go to a bricks and mortar location near them?  NO!  They would go online first, and would they be impressed with what they see?  Would it draw them into your programs and services? Ask some non-customers in your area to test your site and see what they say.  I bet you will be surprised.

If bricks and mortar destinations are dying, how are we improving digital experiences?  Are we changing the way we finance our enterprises? And how are we enriching our staff’s knowledge and ability to support customer digital experiences?  Are we helping them learn and grow?  Be attentive to digital shifts in our fast evolving world?  Certainly not by supporting continuing/lifelong learning, staff training, etc.  That’s the first, and in my opinion, worst thing to go from a budget!  Are we partnering with digitally aware partners? I sure hope so! Would love to hear good examples of thoe who are!! We have some big challenges ahead, and I hope we survive!  Suggestions welcome!

Communication, Presentations & Influence!

Lauren Baker, Artist at HowTheLightsGetIn,
Hay on Wye May 2019

‘Tis the season for conferences and conference planning! I was thinking back to Lynda Braksiek’s fabulous talk at APQC’s KM event where she sang the opening to her talk, Broken Road, and then tied that to he journey in KM and related it to big ideas. Fabulous. She worked with coaches to produce such a wonderful polished presentation.

I learned many years ago from PR folks at the large Internet World events about some of the tricks of communicating with audiences. I know I’m not an expert & have lots to learn still! Here’s a recent blog post from the company that coached Lynda, and reminded me of some of things that I learned in the past about getting your ideas across, communicating & influencing. First — who is the audience? What do you want to accomplish?Here are some key tips: take control, use memory-driving words, don’t hedge with iffy words, prepare responses to tough questions. In other words, keep on point and get your message across in many different ways! And of course, personal stories resonate the best with most audiences!

Post-Secondary Ed’s Coming Crisis

Dr. Tony Bates, Research Associate with Contact North/Contact Nord has posted a 3-part series, “The Coming Crisis in Canadian Post-secondary Education“. This is must-reading for anyone in Canada’s libraries. Not just college, school or university libraries – LIBRARIES.

I know, I know, I’m always saying something is a “must read”, but put it in the context that I’m not a reader. I’m a scanner & listener. I read only a few items and I pass on even less. I’m passionately passing this on.

Part 1: External Developments

Part 2: The Canadian Context

Part 3: Strategies for Survival

This is a topic everyone in libraries should be monitoring and, most importantly, discerning and discussing. Why? What does it mean for public libraries if the post-secondary institutions are under threat? It means social, economic and education upheaval, winners, losers, and opportunities. As life-long learning institutions, all libraries need to be following this and engaging in this research, debate and strategies. Since most of the upheaval is coming from technologies and economic vulnerabilities, other education-related organizations will feel the ripples. Or the shakes and cracks.

I wish Dr. Bates went a bit deeper with his posts, but they are posts, not academic papers. They give us a taste – and we know need to book a reservation and eat some full course meals in these issues.

We’re in a profession of curiousity. We, whether we are in a post-secondary library or a public library, should be curious about these developments. And we should be readying for action.

Oh – before I forget. Subscribe to Contact North/Nord’s newsletter. I scan it, faithfully and more often than not, I read it!

Did You Know 2019

The latest update that I can find of this 6 minute video. It’s a quick way to see the technological and demographic developments. And it’s a good way to consider the implications for individuals, communities, campuses and organizations. #Mustviewing for those in libraries and any type of information-intensive work.

Want to practice #strategicthinking? Start with this. And then discuss it.

Workplace of the Future – Hah!

Here I thought we were working with laptops, mobile devices, ubiquitous wifi, working asynchronously with others, having access to good information for decision making, and the flow was great. No way! 

Too many organizations have only desktop workstations for staff. This grounds a person to one place, inhibiting them from fruitful participation in meetings since they don’t have mobile devices to access e-documents, and decision-making depends on other people for credible information (never at work, on vacation, sick parent or child… life). However, there are organizations who do provide the digital tools for their employees which have real consequences for creating innovating ideas, closing business, getting things done, and responding promptly to customers. So, after 25+ years of Internet and moving into IoTs, we have a lot of work to do!

“It’s not about the money, it’s about spending money on the right things – all about leadership.”


Serious Play. Seriously.

Phaedra Boinodiris is an author and Member of IBM’s Academy of Technology, which means she initiates start-ups within IBM. Yeah. That’s right. She’s known as one of the top 100 women in the games industry. Her earlier work in serious games is being used in >1000 schools worldwide to teach students the fundamentals of business optimization.”

She spoke at #CIL2019 last month, and then talked informally with 20 of us in the Library Leaders Summit for an hour. We talked about her PhD, AI and bias, technology and ethics, and using games to shift cultures. I was mesmerized. I’m a board gamer, and have long recognized how games sharpen our thinking, particularly our strategic thinking. I played Risk for days the summer our nephews were 13 and 15. It was sharpen up Aunt Beck or die and I wasn’t about to die on that board. I learned. Fast.

Phaedra talked about using real-time strategy games to think through different scenarios. Or using a game to optimize a process by changing small decisions. Wow. I want those games. Every library management team should want those games. Wow. We need to learn. Fast.

Here’s the video of Phaedra’s keynote (start it 12 minutes in). Definitely worth watching. We need to get serious about our play. Each play libraries make in this society, in this economy, is serious. And check out Phaedra’s Serious Games for Business: Using Gamification to Fully Engage Customers, Employees and Partner. Let’s adapt it for libraries, not-for-profits and academies — or maybe someone already has?

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